by The Rev. Rich Heinz
In her Pop Culture articles for Higher Things, Kim Grams has spoken of promises she made to herself. Several years ago I too made a promise. “If Carter ever leaves E.R., I am done. That’s it!” They have killed off or written off every original character, it seemed, and that would be the last straw.
Somehow I find myself breaking that promise; and I find myself more and more disappointed. To begin with, the show has always had an extreme-left skewed view of politics and morals. The E.R. staff has had more than its share of unquestioned extra-marital affairs, and the show just doesn’t let up on its pro-abortion and pro-homosexual agendas. That should be reason enough to call it quits.
Nevertheless, I had been watching until the writers’ strike, and this final slap in the face to Christian clergymen takes the cake. This season has seen the introduction of a new character, a female “chaplain,” Julia Dupree, who seems to embrace a belief system that comes from a spiritual “buffet” mixing many religions into one big mess.
Set aside that three-quarters of the world’s Christians belong to churches that take the Bible seriously and respect God’s decision for ordaining only males for the Holy Ministry. Try to forget that this girl has no sexual morality, and enjoys “free love” too much for any divinity school graduate. And never mind that a Christian pastor should never be searching for the latest Zen Buddhist meditation techniques nor attempting to comfort someone with a generic Christ-less “love.” What is left to admire about “Chaplain” Julia? Nothing!
I have disliked her character since she was introduced. Now I do not simply dislike her; she turns my stomach. One of the last episodes shown this year was called: “Atonement.” It featured a cancer patient named Truman who had been a prison doctor. Dr. Truman had executed prisoners by lethal injection. He now had a tortured, misguided conscience that caused him to believe he had broken the Fifth Commandment. Now he was trying to track down all the affected families to apologize, and feared dying under God’s wrath.
Instead of properly helping him cope with the Law that he felt, and giving the man the Gospel of Christ who atoned for us all, “Chaplain” Julia had some New Age hodge-podge of touchy-feely “religion.” The beauty of it all – the patient called her to the carpet! After she tells him that it is up to each person to interpret what God wants, he challenges her and says, “So people can do anything? They can rape, murder, they can steal, all in the name of God, and it's okay?” After her inept response, he ends up shouting: “Well, what are you saying? Because all I'm hearing is some new age, God is love, one size fits all crap!”
“Chaplain” Julia has a tragic flaw – she does not know Christ! The burden that this doctor felt was unbearable. He needed the pure, healing Gospel of Jesus, assuring him that no matter how horrible the sins, (or how horrible the just actions of serving the government that God had ordained), he was completely forgiven. Ironically, this dying, scared man could have helped this “chaplain” toward the right knowledge of God.
The true God is not one size fits all. He is not open to every individual’s interpretation. There are not many paths to paradise. The teachings of religions outside of Christianity are false, plain and simple. The seminary is not the “Mega-bar” from Ryans, where you choose what you want and leave the rest. Christ Himself says: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 ESV)
“Chaplain” Julia is the perfect example of what we call “post-modern” thought. This is a belief that you can pick and choose what you want, because there is no absolute truth. Anyone can have their opinion, and no one is “wrong,” because it all is about individual points of view.
Sadly for her, and for the many others who believe this, it is not so. God does have absolutes. Jesus IS the Truth! There is no salvation apart from Christ.
As I ponder that I should have kept my promise to myself in the first place, I urge you to be on guard against such (ordained or lay) “chaplains” of another gospel. Do not give in to the thought that there is no such thing as absolute truth. Do not be run over by those who would tell you that the Bible is all subject to individual interpretation. Do not be overwhelmed by those who say there are many roads to heaven.
Instead, dear friends, be comforted. Trust in our Lord who never lies, that He is the way, and the truth, and the life. Rest assured that He has paid for your sins, and you will never have to atone for them, as Dr. Truman worried. Pay attention to the chaplains of the true Gospel! And begin to realize how choices in your television viewing may affect your opinions and moral positions if you are not careful. In the end, be assured that no matter who you are, no matter what you have watched, no matter what your past transgressions, our loving Savior is your Way, Truth, and Life!
The Rev. Rich Heinz is senior pastor of St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church & School in Lanesville, IN. He serves Higher Things as the front page editor and in his free time blogs some at http://revfrheinz.blogspot.com/.
Created: February 14th, 2008